Thursday, August 14, 2014

It's a Wrap!

It's been a great season for growing kale.  I tried a new heirloom variety this year, Couve Tronchuda, which I first heard about/saw on an episode of The Victorian Kitchen Garden (now there's a great YouTube find...)  This kale I actually like, a lot.  It tastes much more like cabbage (love) and it has beautiful, spade-shaped leaves.  Anyway, finding myself in possession of a dozen or so perfect second crop leaves, I decided I'd invent something that would make use of a bunch of other vegetables I had ready in the garden and add to my freezer stash at the same time.

Introducing:  Asian-Kale Wraps!

They are kind of like cabbage rolls, but are filled with stuff you might find in a delicious spring roll.  Best of both worlds, I think.

You could use a mixture of vegetables that you prefer, but I rummaged and poked and found this assortment: carrots, zuchinni, patty pan squash, rat tail radishes, chives, minced fresh ginger, minced garlic.  Last night, I pulled a small pork roast out of the freezer and roasted it in the crockpot overnight, after rubbing it with Chinese Five Spice powder.  After letting it cool completely in the fridge, I sliced it up and added it to the vegetables.  A hearty slosh of Thai Sweet Red Chile sauce and a good mix with my hands, and the filling was complete.
While prepping the filling, I cut the thick stalks off each leaf, and placed them in a bowl with really hot water.  This helps to soften them, so they are easier to roll around the filling.  (Yet one more reason why I love my electric kettle!)
It's pretty simple to make a wrap.  You take a leaf, lay it out, and plonk a little handful of filling onto it. 
Then, you fold up the top and bottom, then side to side, and make a pretty little packet. Repeat a dozen times or so, and you wind up with this:
A whole tray of pretty wraps, ready to be baked for 30 minutes or so at 400 degrees (I think a simple brown sauce made of soy sauce, cornstarch, and water would be lovely sloshed over it), or to be parked in the freezer and frozen for later.  I opted to freeze this batch, and after they are all frozen I'll package them up for individual meals.  They'll be great as a quick, delicious and garden fresh meal after a busy work day.

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